Jayesh Bhai Jaman Bhai Bhakkad is a 41-year-old farmer from Thanapipli, Junagadh, Gujarat (western India). For 24 years, Jayesh farmed cash crops like cotton, peanuts, and vegetables using traditional farming methods. Last year, Jayesh began noticing a decline in his output and income, due in part to a fungus that was attacking his peanut crop. In response, he sought out training programs from a local university, spent INR 6000 on pesticides to combat the unknown virus that was yellowing his normally green peanut plants. However, despite Jayesh’s efforts in applying the pesticide and taking classes from the local university, his crop continued to wilt.
The Ganga Women Self Help Group in Ujarwara village, Fatehpur block, Uttar Pradesh is just one of 319 SHGs formed under the Shubh Mint project. The group is comprised of twelve women, eleven of whom initially could neither read nor write their own names. This deficiency in their education had dire consequences: women were dependent on others for every aspect of their financial life, a heavy burden was placed on the one woman who was literate, and there was a general lack of confidence among the members of the group stemming from this gap in their education.